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  1. #1

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    hello there,
    I'm teaching guitar to a nine year old girl. She's very musical and she's starting to have some skills on guitar, but she struggles with the reading part. I made her do some transcriptions of simple lines on C major scales and she plays them, but she cannot write them, I made her write down every single note from low E to the first G on high E, like you do with letters when you're a child and she cannot do that. I wrote down the c major scale with names of the notes, strings and fingering for open position, but she seems to don't understand. I made her say and sing every note of the scales, but, tough she does that still can't read, even quarter notes. Experienced teachers out there, How can i do?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    hello there, I'm teaching guitar to a nine year old girl. She's very musical and she's starting  to have some skills on guitar, but she struggles with the reading part. I made her do some transcriptions of simple lines on C major scales and she plays them, but she cannot write them, I made her write down every single note from low E to the first G on high E, like you do with letters when you're a child and she cannot do that. I wrote down the c major scale with names of the notes, strings and fingering for open position, but she seems to don't understand. I made her say and sing every note of the scale, but, tough she does that,she still can't read, even quarter notes. Experienced teachers out there, How can i do?
    Last edited by asafasadi; 02-08-2017 at 09:56 AM.

  4. #3
    Abstracting things and getting theoretical with a kid that age probably isn't going to be effective. Kids that age don't understand any form of abstraction . They don't get irony or really even understand jokes until pretty close to that age.

    Of course, I don't think you BEGIN with theory, with any age. Usually you learn a few notes at a time, and build. Theory is then applied to what you've already kind of learned. It's probably worth checking out a decent "kids method", if you don't have one already.

    Alfred's kids guitar method is really good in my opinion. Very similar to piano pedagogy , but it's not focused on knowing ALL the notes, to start, or anything. Strictly need-to-know. Most beginner pianists or any other instrument learn without knowing theory in the beginning. More information is not necessarily helpful. Just basic information like "this is E , top space on the staff . This is a quarter note , one beat".

    Check out currently trending children's piano methods for philosophical context . Their pedagogy is very highly evolved and usually ahead of guitar. It's always straightforward as possible and focused on keeping them engaged/motivated.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-08-2017 at 10:15 AM.

  5. #4

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    Yeah I had similar conceptual inclinations when I started teaching reading to kids. Throw it all out the window. Get them reading an E note in quarter notes. Then introduce one other pitch. Don't introduce the new pitch until they display a lot of confidence with the first one. Keep adding notes. It takes a while, especially if they're not practicing

    I have some probably controversial opinions about whether to even bother teaching kids to read music on guitar. I don't think it's always worth doing - not never - just not always. As jazzers we're in a "serious musician" mindset, but most people starting on an instrument are just seeing if they're into it at first. Where the parents are coming from makes a big difference too. If they're like "we want our kid to have a serious music education" that's pretty different than "we're seeing if this is a fun activity that she enjoys and then we'll go from there."

  6. #5

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    Great to see this discussion - more. please!

  7. #6

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    I will say this about reading - I had a span of maybe 3-5 years where I was making almost every single kid read, and basically saw my lessons as preparation for music conservatory. That was definitely the period of my teaching career when I had the worst rate of student retention.

    Not saying reading is bad, it's absolutely essential for playing at a pro level and appreciating great music.

    But if you're going to teach reading to little kids it HAS to be easy and it HAS to be fun.

    The only exception to that may be if they have parents that have already decided that the kid has to take "serious" music lessons, and the parents are forcing the kid to practice every day, and you're ok with all of that.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Yeah I had similar conceptual inclinations when I started teaching reading to kids. Throw it all out the window. Get them reading an E note in quarter notes. Then introduce one other pitch. Don't introduce the new pitch until they display a lot of confidence with the first one. Keep adding notes. It takes a while, especially if they're not practicing

    I have some probably controversial opinions about whether to even bother teaching kids to read music on guitar. I don't think it's always worth doing - not never - just not always. As jazzers we're in a "serious musician" mindset, but most people starting on an instrument are just seeing if they're into it at first. Where the parents are coming from makes a big difference too. If they're like "we want our kid to have a serious music education" that's pretty different than "we're seeing if this is a fun activity that she enjoys and then we'll go from there."

    Yeah. I actually go as far to teach rhythms before I ever introduce pitch. And then when pitch is introduced, a few notes at a time, one string at a time. The student will show you pretty clearly if things are clicking and you can move faster.

    Regarding student retention and fun, my policy is if someone else is paying for your lessons (i.e, mom and dad) we will spend some time each lesson doing what I want you to do and some time learning what you want to do. And those things can always cross over and reinforce each other.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 02-08-2017 at 10:59 AM.

  9. #8

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    I use flash cards. It's in interactive game then. Repetition and an instant sense of recognition and accomplishment. I also love using flash cards to create songs in real time. Like refrigerator poetry, getting a child to "build" music which you then can play and as a teacher interpret the rhythmic content of (you've got to have some improvisational ability yourself, that's a given, right?) and the teacher plays their composition.

    If you make it a creative game, it's relevant.
    You can make stacks of flash cards with which to drill, compose and read/sing/move with. Don't forget that movement can also be used as a musical education tool. Movement or a component of dance when interpreting a piece comes from a strong place in a kid. Movement and dance can also be used to teach rhythm; it brings rhythmic symbolism to life. Rhythm often preceeds pitch notation in a child's world.
    Reading is something more akin to the language of an adult, an adult's ordering world, but creating, building, imagining and discovering...that's there right from the start.

    Adapt your toolset.
    Have fun
    David

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Regarding student retention and fun, my policy is if someone else is paying for your lessons (i.e, mom and dad) we will spend some time each lesson doing what I want you to do and some time learning what you want to do. And those things can always cross over and reinforce each other.
    to this point, it’s not even that I want them to read - at first I just want them to be able to play stuff on the guitar. Play songs, pick out melodies, improvise a bit. I’ve been thinking about it a lot the past year or two and still have mixed feelings about the issue.


    Just clarifying that it’s not really just about satisfying the whims of kids, but rather concentrating the limited lesson time on playing skills.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    to this point, it’s not even that I want them to read - at first I just want them to be able to play stuff on the guitar. Play songs, pick out melodies, improvise a bit. I’ve been thinking about it a lot the past year or two and still have mixed feelings about the issue.


    Just clarifying that it’s not really just about satisfying the whims of kids, but rather concentrating the limited lesson time on playing skills.

    I hear ya.

    I still teach reading, and think it's important because I want to set them up right, when they're young and can pick up on stuff quickly, for their possibilities in the future. And if they never play an instrument again after taking lessons with me, I still taught them some discipline and some concepts that have been proven to help critical thinking and math, so I figure I'm doing no harm.

    But I agree completely on wanting them to make MUSIC. Because that's what will keep them going. I have a young ukulele student who only knows chords and how to count rhythms, but she can play dozens of songs (she sings as well) and that makes her happy, me happy, and mom and dad happy. And she's the student of mine that people will hear and be impressed with, really, not the one who can sightread "mary had a little lamb."

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I hear ya.

    I still teach reading, and think it's important because I want to set them up right, when they're young and can pick up on stuff quickly, for their possibilities in the future. And if they never play an instrument again after taking lessons with me, I still taught them some discipline and some concepts that have been proven to help critical thinking and math, so I figure I'm doing no harm.

    But I agree completely on wanting them to make MUSIC. Because that's what will keep them going. I have a young ukulele student who only knows chords and how to count rhythms, but she can play dozens of songs (she sings as well) and that makes her happy, me happy, and mom and dad happy. And she's the student of mine that people will hear and be impressed with, really, not the one who can sightread "mary had a little lamb."
    cool, glad you get where i’m coming from.


    I think back on all the reading I used to teach, all the resistance I would get, and then how few of my students ever took to it. The ones where it clicked, it was a source of joy and pride for them and they became good readers, relatively. But we’re talking a very tiny percentage, like 2-3%. And the ones that did a little reading every week, I bet after a year post-lessons they forgot all of it. And in retrospect further, the ones who weren’t excited about it (and that was most) they were like…painfully slow, even after years.


    I can even think of one specific student I’ve been working with for about 5 years, since she was 5. We spent most of the time on reading from books, and she and her parents have been relatively happy to continue but progress had been behind a crawl, and even with tons of work and review she struggled to remember the names of the notes on the staff, or the names of the notes on the strings, in some cases.


    I was on auto-pilot. I’m sure my methods are in part to blame, but at a certain point it was like…why are we doing this when she could be playing some music that’s at least somewhat listenable?


    I’m not saying anything hard and fast, black and white, etc, just some thoughts I’ve been having about teaching kids to read. I’ve been reprioritizing it lately but when students tell me they want to play jazz I get on them to get a serious reading practice going. I don’t teach classical guitar, so that doesn’t come up for me.


    I love David’s ideas, above. I think my approach to reading was probably too dry. But even with a more kid-friendly and satisfying approach I think of my time management, and just what my priorities are as a teacher, what my goals are for the student. If I got 3-4 hours a week with each kid I would love to incorporate a lot of other activities.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    ... concentrating the limited lesson time on playing skills.
    .

    Yes Jake, there's this duality of productive and demonstratible skills and acquiring really useful deeply integrated musicality. It'd always worry me if a student didn't have a solid and evident take-away each lesson. I realized at some point how that thinking undermined a sense of bigger picture and how it's tied to students can even get to the point of being quite proficient and not have a solid sense of ear, integration and creative imagination-things teachers often assume will come on their own.
    This is a discussion for another thread maybe, I don't want to derail the OP's question, but sometimes I see results in teaching that comes from being aware of providing a good value within each lesson, often perceived through repeatable skills, and providing a musical awareness, sometimes a dubious proposition.
    I see this at the highest level of teaching even into institutional music schools: Giving a student things they can play but don't understand the creative potential of. I see reading as a tool for a larger creative vocabulary.

    But that's just my personal take on it.
    David

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    .

    Yes Jake, there's this duality of productive and demonstratible skills and acquiring really useful deeply integrated musicality. It'd always worry me if a student didn't have a solid and evident take-away each lesson. I realized at some point how that thinking undermined a sense of bigger picture and how it's tied to students can even get to the point of being quite proficient and not have a solid sense of ear, integration and creative imagination-things teachers often assume will come on their own.
    This is a discussion for another thread maybe, I don't want to derail the OP's question, but sometimes I see results in teaching that comes from being aware of providing a good value within each lesson, often perceived through repeatable skills, and providing a musical awareness, sometimes a dubious proposition.
    I see this at the highest level of teaching even into institutional music schools: Giving a student things they can play but don't understand the creative potential of. I see reading as a tool for a larger creative vocabulary.

    But that's just my personal take on it.
    David
    I hear you and agree it may be a discussion for another thread. It's funny how "teaching music" or "teaching guitar" is often thought of one thing, especially to beginners, but there is a myriad of different approaches that may all be equally valid, and the variety in some cases is not even a musical issue. (for example, the purpose that the lessons have in the kid's or family's life.)

    I have thought a lot about the distinctions you're making and have gone through different phases in my teaching and another thread might be great for it.

    The other fact, whether it is seen as fortunate or unfortunate, is that we live in a capitalist system and if we can’t convince the student or the family of the value of the skills we are trying to teach, they will not compensate us. For folks like myself, livelihood depends on factors like these. Anyway, yes, the issues are multifaceted and a discussion would be worthwhile.

  15. #14

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    Practice Sight Reading and Sight Singing Exercises Online – Sight Reading Factory(R). This is all you need. All my students have improved their sight reading greatly through using this site. I have no affiliation to the website. We have bought licences for all the students in our guitar department and sight reading is way better now after using it for just 2 semesters.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    I use flash cards. It's in interactive game then. Repetition and an instant sense of recognition and accomplishment. I also love using flash cards to create songs in real time. Like refrigerator poetry, getting a child to "build" music which you then can play and as a teacher interpret the rhythmic content of (you've got to have some improvisational ability yourself, that's a given, right?) and the teacher plays their composition.

    If you make it a creative game, it's relevant.
    You can make stacks of flash cards with which to drill, compose and read/sing/move with. Don't forget that movement can also be used as a musical education tool. Movement or a component of dance when interpreting a piece comes from a strong place in a kid. Movement and dance can also be used to teach rhythm; it brings rhythmic symbolism to life. Rhythm often preceeds pitch notation in a child's world.
    Reading is something more akin to the language of an adult, an adult's ordering world, but creating, building, imagining and discovering...that's there right from the start.

    Adapt your toolset.
    Have fun
    David
    I was about to say flashcards, before seeing this. The thing about teaching really young students is that 30 minutes is an eternity. Really ANYTHING you can do to break things up and keep them engaged is really helpful. You really can't do one linear thing the whole time. You'll pretty quickly be one of those people who just don't teach kids . Make you nuts.

    Flashcards are helpful because they compartmentalize . Also, they're very concrete , as well as being tactile and game like .

    With regard to the attention span thing, one thing that really helps me is when I see a kid basically zoning out , and it's no longer working, we reverse roles. I give them the pencil and say, "okay, now, you're the teacher. Point and say the letter names (or finger numbers or fret numbers etc.) while *I* play". Kind of breaks the cycle like switching flashcards does. Removes several factors and compartmentalizes skill to more specific things. Again, it's tactile and more of a game.

    Always did a lot of silly sounding reverse psychology games and competitions, them versus me etc. There is a definite kid niche you can build if you can actually learn to enjoy teaching young students. There aren't many who do. It's a very different nut to crack for sure.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-08-2017 at 11:52 AM.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    Great to see this discussion - more. please!
    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot


    .

    Nice to see this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    to this point, it’s not even that
    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    I want them to read - at first I just want them to be able to play stuff on the guitar. Play songs, pick out melodies, improvise a bit. I’ve been thinking about it a lot the past year or two and still have mixed feelings about the issue.


    Just clarifying that it’s not really just about satisfying the whims of kids, but rather concentrating the limited lesson time on playing skills.


    Improvisation is an oft overlooked tool in teaching kids, even in a reading application. Compose from an early stage. Tie the literacy element into a recognizable sound and process. It's develops great ear training skills and it makes reading a living integral part of the discovery, performance and accomplishment cycle.

    That's my experience anyway
    David

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci

    The other fact, whether it is seen as fortunate or unfortunate, is that we live in a capitalist system and if we can’t convince the student or the family of the value of the skills we are trying to teach, they will not compensate us. For folks like myself, livelihood depends on factors like these. Anyway, yes, the issues are multifaceted and a discussion would be worthwhile.



    Amen. I see this fear played out even at music schools. The non-musical matrix that true music is created in, issues of motivation and the long term benefits of imaginative and integrative thinking are not things on the cash agenda.
    Another thread might address the differences in learning as a child and as an adult. When you reach adulthood thinking of music as a re-creatible process (learn songs you can play) and not a creative one (make music as a reflection of your imagination and creative soul) it becomes a dilemma of priorities and toolsets.
    Truth is, there's more to knowing music than learning a few songs, but only getting there in a leap of faith will prove that. It's the teacher that provides that faith.

    David


  19. #18

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    What happened to my posts? And Jake's?

    Disregard, 2 threads, just realized.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    What happened to my posts? And Jake's?
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    Disregard, 2 threads, just realized.


    Hey! Didn't I know you from the alternative universe? Where am I and who's president here?
    David

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz

    Hey! Didn't I know you from the alternative universe? Where am I and who's president here?
    David
    A game show host. This is bizarro-world.

  22. #21

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    how to teach to read forum?

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    how to teach to read forum?
    There is no how. There is only Huh? -Yoda

    David

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    how to teach to read forum?


    There is no how. There is only Huh? -Yoda

    Hey guys, come over to this thread. It's a lot better. There's a lot more room to post. C'mon don't let me be lonely here
    David

  25. #24

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    Step by step, gradiently. Don't leap over steps. Having someone transcribe is a later step well after learning the basics of rhythm, note recognition on the page and location on the fretboard. I divide reading into three parts or sections:

    1. Understanding the symbols on the page and words like treble clef, lines, spaces, ledger lines, Italian words, staff, Time signature, key signature, manuscript paper, etc. This also MAINLY includes drilling calling out the note names regardless of where the notes are on the guitar or rhythm.

    2. Clapping rhythms. Starting very basic, then advancing to triplets, 8th note syncopation and 16th notes. This is fun. If done in a class everyone seems to like it because it's surprisingly easy.

    3. Location of written note to location on the fretboard. Starting in open position, of course. These drills are done at first with no consideration to rhythm. Just find the notes. This is the hardest.

    You can do steps 1 & 2 away from the guitar, while watching TV or sitting on the sofa with your family. I try to get the student to do them 3-5 minutes every day. Progress goes quickly then.

    Step 3 takes a bit longer. If 1 & 2 are being done soon step three can add rhythms with little problem. But reading is about 3 separate and difficult mental actions that are best done, I've found, if taken apart. I have students who are sight reading pretty well now, even when their goals wasn't sight reading. I've written a bunch of drills for all three steps that go from very, very easy to fairly complex.

    This is just the way I do it and what I've developed to teach reading. It works for me. Certainly not the only way because I don't know anyone else who teaches reading this way. But just another method.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 02-08-2017 at 12:56 PM.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Certainly not the only way because I don't know anyone else who teaches reading this way. But just another method.
    Thanks, Henry. Makes a lot of sense. Most fundamental reading problems are not as much to do with the instrument or playing. This is address is it directly.

  27. #26

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    My goals for beginner students

    1. conveying that music is fun and potentially profound via playing music together
    2. basic technical skills
    3. ear training
    4. reading

    It has been awhile since I taught many younger ones. I recently started teaching my neighbor's 9 year old daughter. Thanks to the helpful advice of members of the forum we were able to make a good small guitar purchase that is serving us well.

    She is off the charts on a conceptual level and could probably maintain concentration for 3 hours without blinking. This to say that it is better to discover a students personal tendencies and learning style than assume any one size fits.

    In my opinion, work on the foundational elements of reading first. Break it down, simplify as needed.
    Move into actual reading after some basics have been put in place.

    I explained the chromatic scale and the spelling in flats and in sharps.
    This combined with knowing the open strings gave us a primitive way to find a given note on any string,
    counting up or down from the 12th fret. We established basic understanding of this but didn't dwell on it

    I taught her half steps and whole steps of the C major scale by letters (not by number degree) which allowed her to find the scale notes on each string. Her enthusiasm is as such that she continued to the top of each string even though I was only asking up to the 12th fret.

    I showed her unisons at 5 frets and G-B at 4 frets.

    We learned fingerings (full range) C major scale, open position. I taught her a few melodies based on these notes via tab and recorded practice track.

    She basically now understands finding flats and sharps in reference to the natural notes although still gets confused sometimes by B#,E#,Cb and Fb.

    We used the note namer exercise on musictheory.net learning E1-D1 first, then E2-F3 and then adding G3.
    She enjoyed the game and worked with this on her own.
    She still hesitates as to which octave a given note is in, we define it as lower, middle and higher.

    Separately we have been working on rhythm, defining the basic pulse in music we listen to.
    Call and response on open strings, discussing subdivisions on a basic level.
    Strange child that she is, she even has enjoyed so far going through Robert Starer's Rhythmic Training 1st chapters with me.

    In that she reads books voraciously, she is committed to the idea of being able to read music as well.

    Last week, 3 months in, we began going through a slow reading book that introduces the notes one at a time.
    We flew through the 1st pages quickly establishing the upper 3 string notes.
    Later today, we will play through 2 duets based on those pitches.

    Like many of her NYC generation she is very activity overbooked and doesn't organize too much practice time.
    Despite her calendar commitments, she always manages to work on something, even when she was on vacation without a guitar. I am fortunate for this opportunity to work on the craft of music with her.

  28. #27
    Great thread. Thanks.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz



    Truth is, there's more to knowing music than learning a few songs, but only getting there in a leap of faith will prove that. It's the teacher that provides that faith.

    David

    I've found that even for those who want to write music and improvise, it is at times difficult to get them to see that there are more direct paths to their goals than just learning a bunch of songs or solos. Some people are conceptually minded, or open minded, and/or trusting, and/or inclined to trust me, and it's less of an issue. For a lot of people, long term processes with music is an elusive thing.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    I recently started teaching my neighbor's 9 year old daughter...
    Sounds like an awesome student and a very interesting opportunity. How often are you meeting?

    I teach many, many kids that age. As you might imagine, they are mostly not like that, with the occasional exception.

    There is one student who is about 14 now and we started when he was 7. He would generally rather read music from a book or practice technique than improvise, I can tell that structure is comforting for him, in music. He's definitely in the minority.



    Another interesting dynamic I have taken note of, related: students who like to ask a lot of questions, and are technically minded.


    Competing thoughts:



    • Great to encourage curiosity and knowledge
    • They are there to develop the ability to play guitar, not the ability to talk about playing guitar.
    • Music theory and intellectual concepts regarding music are important
    • So is the ability to sit down with another person and play through a song or piece of music



    Sorry, getting off track. Maybe I should start a different thread as David suggested.

  31. #30

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    Since both threads had several responses, deleting one was out of the question.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    1. conveying that music is fun and potentially profound via playing music together
    this

  33. #32

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    Quizlet might be useful:
    Read music Flashcards | Quizlet

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJM
    Practice Sight Reading and Sight Singing Exercises Online – Sight Reading Factory(R). This is all you need. All my students have improved their sight reading greatly through using this site. I have no affiliation to the website. We have bought licences for all the students in our guitar department and sight reading is way better now after using it for just 2 semesters.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    What level is your program? Is this a college? Thanks for the link!

  35. #34

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    It's a university but the level of reading was really low until we implemented the program. Now it's way better.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Abstracting things and getting theoretical with a kid that age probably isn't going to be effective. Kids that age don't understand any form of abstraction . They don't get irony or really even understand jokes until pretty close to that age.
    Damn, I sure wish someone had told my kid he had no sense of humor, irony or abstraction when he was 9. Maybe he wouldn't've been such a wiseass. He's only 11 now, so maybe it's not too late.

    John

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Damn, I sure wish someone had told my kid he had no sense of humor, irony or abstraction when he was 9. Maybe he wouldn't've been such a wiseass. He's only 11 now, so maybe it's not too late.

    John
    There's a level of abstraction that is common to humanity , but there benchmarks as well. 15 or 16 algebra and related become exponentially easier. I taught a lot of elementary and public school for a while , and there is an age where jokes just click.

    Every third-grader tells you jokes you've heard all your life and consider stale and groan-worthy. If you don't laugh sufficiently, they stop to explain the joke to you, thinking "I never got this until just recently myself. So , is it possible you just don't understand, since you're not laughing?". There's a degree of irony, yes, but the jokebook thing doesn't really make sense until a certain age.

    i spend some time with kindergarten , first and second graders each day, in addition to 3-5 . Kindergartners and first graders tell made up jokes , pretending to understand what it's about. The punchline is usually something like "because he was so stupid". It's beyond trying to explain why it's not a real joke.

    Am I the only one who has experienced this phenomena?
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-09-2017 at 04:48 PM.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    There's a level of abstraction that is common to humanity , but their benchmarks as well. 15 or 16 algebra and related become exponentially easier. I taught a lot of elementary and public school for a while , and there is an age where jokes just click.

    Every third-grader tells you jokes you've heard all your life and consider stale and grown worthy. If you don't laugh sufficiently, they stopped to explain the joke to you, thinking "I never got this until just recently myself. So , is it possible you just don't understand, since you're not laughing?". There's a degree of irony, yes, but the jokebook thing doesn't really make sense until a certain age.

    Spend a good bit of time with kindergarten , first and second graders each day, in addition to 3-5 . Kindergartners and first graders tell made up jokes , pretending to understand what it's about. The punchline is usually something like "because he was so stupid". It's beyond trying to understand why it's not a real joke.

    Am I the only one who has experienced this phenomena?
    when I get conceptual with kids that age they usually get imaginative, and draw draw creative conclusions, which is nice in a sense, but their conclusions are almost always wrong for what we're trying to do. Some kids, like Bako's student, are good with the technical/data, but I've found them to be the exception.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJM
    It's a university but the level of reading was really low until we implemented the program. Now it's way better.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    Love this - thanks!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJM
    It's a university but the level of reading was really low until we implemented the program. Now it's way better.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    just subscribed to this. $35.99 a year. it’s fun! like www.iwasdoingallright.com for sight reading.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    There's a level of abstraction that is common to humanity , but their benchmarks as well. 15 or 16 algebra and related become exponentially easier. I taught a lot of elementary and public school for a while , and there is an age where jokes just click.

    Every third-grader tells you jokes you've heard all your life and consider stale and grown worthy. If you don't laugh sufficiently, they stopped to explain the joke to you, thinking "I never got this until just recently myself. So , is it possible you just don't understand, since you're not laughing?". There's a degree of irony, yes, but the jokebook thing doesn't really make sense until a certain age.

    Spend a good bit of time with kindergarten , first and second graders each day, in addition to 3-5 . Kindergartners and first graders tell made up jokes , pretending to understand what it's about. The punchline is usually something like "because he was so stupid". It's beyond trying to understand why it's not a real joke.

    Am I the only one who has experienced this phenomena?
    If you had said that music theory is too advanced a form of abstraction at that age, I would agree. But you said that kids that age are incapable of any degree of abstraction or irony, which is way off the charts hyperbole. I am obligated under USC 234 (5) c as a required responder to jerk your chain. Sorry, it's the law. [I might also note that adults sometimes have imperfectly developed grasp of irony, too].

    But seriously, current US education practice assumes capacity for abstraction earlier than the ages you're noting. E.g., Algebra is commonly taught in 8th grade, and there's a lot of proto algebra as early as kindergarten these days (especially with common core, but in my day too with "new math"). Very young kids learn to read, draw, read music, do arithmetic, play games with a fair degree of symbology and abstraction, use computers, etc. Theory of mind emerges in infancy. There is enormous variation between kids in how well they do these things, and clearly there are huge differences within individuals as they mature, but I think kids often have a higher capacity for abstraction than the adults around them fully recognize.

    But I do agree that there are limits to this in teaching music, and it's probably not productive to put much emphasis on theory until a bit later in the game.

    John

  42. #41

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    Wow,

    So many comcepts, actually now my tiny brain is spinning...

    Whatever happened to the classic...

    Every Good Boy Does Fine
    and FACE for Treble...

    Good Boys Do Fine Always
    and All Cows Eat Grass for Bass...

    Mr. Anderson taught us this back at Feather Falls Union School on his 1st day with us... in 1966
    I have never forgotten it as it was such a useful concept.

    Dad and Mom and Grandpa all knew it...

    Didn't have to involve Mark Zuckerburg even once...

    Then Mr. Anderson opened his trunk...FULL OF INSTRUMENTS for the rural schoolchildren on his beat.
    I chose a shiny Clarinet... I still love you Mr. Anderson, wherever you are!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papawooly
    Wow,

    So many comcepts, actually now my tiny brain is spinning...

    Whatever happened to the classic...

    Every Good Boy Does Fine
    and FACE for Treble...

    Good Boys Do Fine Always
    and All Cows Eat Grass for Bass...

    Mr. Anderson taught us this back at Feather Falls Union School on his 1st day with us... in 1966
    I have never forgotten it as it was such a useful concept.

    Dad and Mom and Grandpa all knew it...

    Didn't have to involve Mark Zuckerburg even once...

    Then Mr. Anderson opened his trunk...FULL OF INSTRUMENTS for the rural schoolchildren on his beat.
    I chose a shiny Clarinet... I still love you Mr. Anderson, wherever you are!
    but learning the names of the notes on the staff is just a small part, the very beginning….

  44. #43

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    There's a great, great book where I work. All the notes have an animal or some sort of object related to the note. Like an Elephant on E. I use this with children and they remember the animal and where it is played. To learn the notes, one just has to remember the first letter of the object.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    just subscribed to this. $35.99 a year. it’s fun! like www.iwasdoingallright.com for sight reading.
    Tried the demo with my family - the Destinytots are signing up next month (in time for the local holiday).

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papawooly
    Wow,

    So many comcepts, actually now my tiny brain is spinning...

    Whatever happened to the classic...

    Every Good Boy Does Fine
    and FACE for Treble...

    Good Boys Do Fine Always
    and All Cows Eat Grass for Bass...
    That's part of it too, but the very beginning of it.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    Tried the demo with my family - the Destinytots are signing up next month (in time for the local holiday).
    I like the pricing too. I don't normally get time to practice sight reading, but this may motivate me to do bits here and there rather than get super rusty. $3 a month is pretty reasonable...

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    I like the pricing too. I don't normally get time to practice sight reading, but this may motivate me to do bits here and there rather than get super rusty. $3 a month is pretty reasonable...
    Just signed up. I love the fact that subscription allows you to log in to multiple devices - very convenient. A mobile device that gives you customised sight-reading practice on the bus to work is my idea of moveable feast!

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    Just signed up. I love the fact that subscription allows you to log in to multiple devices - very convenient. A mobile device that gives you customised sight-reading practice on the bus to work is my idea of moveable feast!
    Yeah it's cool stuff. I've been trying to scan a few minutes with me eyes before bed sometimes instead of being on social media.

  50. #49

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    Love SightReadingFactory (really enjoying practising alongside my little daughter):

  51. #50

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    I found for kids is the best bet so far writing notes on whiteboard - use one that has a staff on it.
    There is plenty you can do like that and it's gonna be the least overwhelming exercises from my experience.

    I start asking them to draw something with notes first - using their own reference notes from their paper.
    It doesn't work really for the other way, it's just a game to get them used with the written down notes with tab numbers.

    Then I write notes one by one first and clean it up quickly when the nail it. I try to add 2-3 new notes each lesson, not gonna try and teach them all in one sitting. Then 2 notes, then 3. Then a good exercise is to ask them to first think where those 3 notes are on guitar, then try to play real fast. Its a very effective exercise and they do seem to ejnoy this somewhat.

    Then I start writing very short tunes on the whiteboard and ask them if they have already heard this tune somewhere. Usually not though But yeah.

    And currently I'm putting together a massive easy tune-reading book. Each tune maybe 8 bars. Same tune twice - in 2 octaves. And 7 booklets with the same tunes in 7 keys. I haven't completed the books it but seems a very good idea... I hope to get it ready very soon and see if they like it

    This was for very young kids. Believe it or not, older students actually like to run through my old note reading app(look my signature down there.). They just want to get over with getting them notes in their head and like the speed of that method. Even the lazy ones weirdly.
    Last edited by emanresu; 03-21-2017 at 09:25 AM.